The Punk Singer

Synopsis: A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the "riot grrrl" movement of the 1990s.
Director(s): Sini Anderson
Production: IFC Films
  1 win & 6 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.4
Metacritic:
75
Rotten Tomatoes:
90%
NOT RATED
Year:
2013
81 min
$121,418
Website
369 Views


I'm their worst

nightmare come to life.

I'm a girl who can't shut up.

There's not a guy big enough

can handle this mouth.

I'm gonna tell everyone

what you did to me.

It was the middle of

the night in my house

it was the middle of

the night in my house

it was the middle of

the night in my house

it was the middle of

the night in my house

It was the middle of the night.

...in my house, only I

wasn't dreaming.

I wasn't dreaming.

I don't really think

I was dreaming.

I really think something

happened in that house.

It was the middle of

the night in my house

it was the middle of

the night in my house

I am your worst

nightmare come to life...

...and I'm not gonna shut up

I'm gonna tell everyone

I'm gonna tell everyone

I discovered Kathy Acker, the

American writer, and I went to.

...this workshop that she did, and.

...she told me, "why do

you want to write?"

And I said, "because nobody has

ever listened to me my whole.

...life, and I have all this

stuff that I want to say. "

And she said, "then, why

are you doing spoken word?

You should be in a band,

because nobody goes to.

...spoken word, but people

go to see bands. "

So, I went home, and

I started a band.

That girl thinks she's the

queen of the neighborhood

she got the hottest

dyke in town

that girl, she holds

her head up so high

I think I wanna be her

best friend, yeah

rebel girl

rebel girl

rebel girl, you are

the queen of my world

rebel girl

rebel girl

I think I want

to take you home

I want to try

on your clothes

Bikini kill wasn't

just the best girl band.

They were the best band.

When she talks, I

hear the revolutions

Kathleen's voice was so.

...strong and so

powerful and so punk.

The revolution's coming

in her kiss, I taste

the evolution

rebel girl

rebel girl

This was not a girl who was.

...gonna fade into the background.

Rebel girl

rebel girl

Kathleen was like a beam of.

...light through the entire crowd.

...that just, like, infused

everyone with revolution.

It's all about speaking

what's unspoken, screaming.

what's unspoken, and that's what.

Kathleen was never afraid to do.

That girl thinks

she's the queen...

Kathleen Hanna is an amazing

singer, activist who I think.

...changed a lot of girls' lives

because she created a new role.

...model that was, like, sexy and

tough and angry and funny and.

...all of those things at once.

You are the

queen of my world

Kathleen can sound

arrestingly young, but then it.

...just makes the words, like, have.

...more of an impact, especially.

when she's singing about

topics like rape.

The big question is in the

last few years, like, why she.

...hasn't been doing more.

Rebel girl

What happened?

Why has she forsaken

us, you know?

Like, what did we

do that was so bad?

No. Unh-unh.

I don't, actually.

Well, it's so

all-encompassing, the question.

There's so much to ask.

That's Kathleen Hanna.

She used to be with a punk band.

...called bikini kill and followed.

...that with a popular

band, Le Tigre.

Kathleen also cofounded the.

...feminist movement

called riot grrrl.

She's been described as

an unstoppable force.

As part of our series titled.

"musicians and artists who make.

...a difference," Kathleen talks.

...about her beginnings and why...

...in 2005, she stopped performing.

These are my origin stories.

I have a few I can flip through

because things never really.

...begin at the beginning.

I was born in Portland, Oregon.

My mom was a nurse.

My dad was a pipe fitter.

My sister's four

years older than me.

I already knew I was gonna

be some kind of artist.

I just didn't know what kind.

My mom and I had a really

specific relationship.

She's totally sadistic and

funny, and I say that with...

...like, love and generosity

towards her in my heart.

One of my first big memories was.

...my mom heard about this

thing, the trust game.

It's like a trust-building

exercise, and she's like, "I'm.

...gonna get on my knees, and I'm.

...gonna fall backwards,

and you catch me.

And then you stand up, and you.

...fall backwards, and

I'll catch you. "

So, she falls backwards,

and, like, I catch her.

And then, I fall back, and my.

...mom steps out of the

way and lets me fall.

And I look up from the carpet...

...and my mom's standing over me,

laughing at me, and she says...

"let that be a lesson to you.

Don't trust anyone, not

even your own mother. "

Uh-oh

I moved a lot as a kid.

We moved every three years, and.

when I was 14, we moved all the

way across the country, from.

Maryland to the

pacific northwest.

I went to college at

evergreen state college in.

Olympia, Washington.

And I studied photography.

That's when I first

met Kathleen Hanna.

She literally made an entrance...

'cause I remember she

was late for a class.

I guess my first impressions.

were, she reminded me of a

young Elizabeth Taylor.

Tammy rae was just the

punkest thing I'd ever seen and.

...had all these ideas and, like...

...taught me about sonic youth and.

...pixies, stuff I

didn't know about.

We were all trying to make

feminist work that was kind of.

...inspired by Jenny Holzer

and Barbara kruger.

We were taking these photo

classes, and when we would bring.

...in our work, we were treated

like we were crazy.

I made work about sexism.

I took pictures from books

I found in the library.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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